Today was a very early day arriving in rainy Skagway.
And the reason it was an early start was because I had booked a river rafting trip through the Chilkat Eagle Preserve outside of Haines, Alaska. The rain wasn't entirely unexpected, because this area is smack in the middle of a rainforest. What was unexpected was that the rain decided to let up the entire time our group was on the river, so it actually made for a fantastic (and relatively dry) morning.
There was quite a bit of mist hanging around which looked really cool, but made spotting the eagles a more difficult...
The mist also made it quite challenging to photograph the eagles, but there were 44 of the birds spotted during the trip so I was able to get quite a few good shots. Since I was on a moving raft I forced a high shutter speed on my camera to keep things sharp. This caused the picture quality to suffer, but at least I didn't end up with a bunch of blurry eagles. Once I used Photoshop to zoom in and add some contrast, they look pretty good...
Overall I shot close to 70 pictures of these beautiful creatures, but it's just not the same as seeing them in person.
After an hour floating down the river looking at Eagles, it was time for a picnic lunch and a ferry ride back to Skagway. The scenery along the was was pretty spectacular...
The town itself seems to be one big tourist trap, and I'm told half of the businesses here belong to Princess Cruise Lines, which makes a lot of sense. Still, it's kind of a charming place that maintains ties back to its gold-rush roots with wooden sidewalks and such...
I'm not much of a shopper, so it was time to walk along the pier so I could beat the crowds and get back to the ship for and early dinner...
Tomorrow is a day at sea. Usually I don't like sea days, but I admit it will be nice to be able to sleep in and relax for a while.
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Sleep is good. Sleep is right. Sleep is necessary, especially since you don’t get any, you bat! 🙂
Love the eagle photos!
Again – stunning.
That last shot is so incredible – it would look great framed in my living room! 🙂
Those eagle shots are amazing, Dave. I love the fact that it was misty. One of my favorite things about Alaska.
Did you know that Skagway means “windy place”? I didn’t either until I went on the bike ride uphill against the wind there. OMG.
Didn’t see much of the place; went to one of the bars for a few drinks after that heinous bike ride!
Dave, those photos are awesome. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.
damn, dave…that second eagle photo is incredible considering the challenges being thrown at you. loved it!
When my family moved to Alaska, we drove up the AlCan, and what I remember most, other than that my snot immediately froze when I stepped outside, was looking up at the trees and seeing that they were full of eagles. It was amazing, and I have never gotten over it.
Jealous ensues — continues. In spite of being in many parts of AK, Skagway is not one of them.
Again, amazing photos.
Love those pics of the eagle. Amazing.
I would love to see a bald eagle in the wild. Sounds like Alaska is the perfect place!
So beautiful. I love your adventures!